Yesterday’s Budget from Labour was another non-event, it offered a little bit for businesses and first time buyers but was effectively an hour long political speech
What is lacking from both the Labour and Conservative Party is how the huge deficit would be cut. Lots of rhetoric and wait until after the election, but it’s not being very straight with the electorate who are expecting some kind of action.
The Liberal Democrats have identified £15bn of cuts already, which doesn’t go all the way, but shows we at least have a plan and we’re telling the electorate up front. This will come from ending government contributions to Child Trust Funds to removing the top 20% of claimants from the tax credit system, cancelling the ID card programme, no like for like Trident replacement and abolishing the Government Offices for the Regions.
The other notable absence in the Budget was any plans to deal with the banks, which are fundamentally still operating in the same environment as pre-credit crunch. The Liberal Democrats would split every day retail banking from casino investment banking and protect the voters savings and investments. Yes retail banking will be very boring, low margins and pretty risk averse, but it’s important that people can trust where they put their hard earned money.
In an IPSOS MORI poll Vince Cable was seen as the most capable Chancellor of the Exchequer, followed a long way back by Alastair Darling and George Osborne bringing up the rear. You can decide for yourself if you watch Channel 4s “Ask the Chancellors” Monday 29 March 8pm